The saying “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” comes from special operators in the military. Only by going slowly and ensuring they are doing things correctly can they perform any tasks with an efficient amount of speed.
We use the saying in a very similar (and obviously less important) manner at Trinity Strength. If you are in the middle of a workout rushing through a movement you will likely make many mistakes. This will take you longer to deal with, could get you injured, or just don’t won’t get you fitter.
Take the handstand push-up as an example. This is a complex movement with fine details. It needs to be just right in order to perform it correctly and efficiently. If your hand placement is off as you put them on the ground you will either fall away from the wall, lean into the wall too much, or be so awkward you’ll be unable to press. Head placement and what you do with your legs is equally important. Plus if you are rushing through them you probably forgot to breath along the way. This makes you take lots of extra time to recover before going to the next movement.
Taking a second longer to set up could save you a minute or more in the long run. It will also help you train your shoulders more. Going slow has now been much faster and more effective.
This saying also holds true over a longer term, think months or years
If you come to our gym you will see on the wall “mechanics → consistency → intensity → volume”. This is the fastest way to see progress. Many people have think if I just do more and more and more of X then I will get better at it. That may be true in the short term, but we see again and again how this method also helps you hit your ceiling faster. If you want to bust through your potential, the fastest way is by focusing on doing things right first, then consistently right. Only then should you begin pushing the pace and adding more repetitions.
Imagine being trapped under a thick frozen lake. As you try to get through the ice to breath you just keep swimming up, banging on the ice, but not being able to break through. Like the Bee Movie you keeping hitting it thinking “maybe this time, this time, this time.” But you can’t break through. At some point you are going to have to swim back down and over until you find the whole in the ice and pop up through it easily for air. If you had simply looked for the hole the first time you would have saved plenty of time and likely avoided injury.
So at times both in our workouts and in your overall progress it may feel like you want to go faster. Trust us though, the last thing you want to do is hurry, then this will take forever.